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edited January 2017 Posted in » Nikon D3200 Forum
Hello, I am trying to use my Nikon D3200 SLR on manual mode, but when I look through the viewfinder, I cannot see the light meter, rather I see the message bulb F13. What am I doing wrong?


  • The exposure meter gives up on "bulb" setting. That makes some sense, since the duration of the bulb setting is arbitrary, depending on how long you hold the button down. But in addition, the meter cannot read below a certain light value, and it is presumed that if you need longer that 30 seconds' exposure, it's past that point anyway, so a meter reading would not be accurate.

    To vary exposure on manual setting, you must turn the wheel to alter the shutter speed, and push down the [+/-] exposure comp button while turning the wheel to alter the aperture. For shutter settings other than "bulb" you'll see the exposure meter in the display.

    When you go to M mode, the camera's exposure memory retains only settings made manually. In M mode, the shutter speed will only be what was last chosen in either M or S mode, and the aperture will only be what was last chosen in either M or A mode. All other automatically set speeds and apertures are lost, so do not be surprised if, when switching from another mode, the settings do not persist.

    Remember that if you have auto ISO enabled, the camera will attempt to correct exposure by changing ISO. That's handy if you need it, but if you're trying on purpose to shoot contrary to the camera's meter recommendations, it won't happen correctly unless you turn off auto ISO.

  • edited January 2017
  • By the way, if you do want to do long time exposures on a D3200, or others of that ilk, which have no "T" setting for shutter speed, get the infrared remote, which is very inexpensive. With that, when the shutter is set to "bulb," the first push of the remote opens it, and it remains open until pushed again. This is a true time exposure, and the only way to do it on the D3200.
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